The daily does Diane

Diane Douglas, Peoria Unified School District board member is taking heat over her principled opposition to Proposition 100, the contested sales tax hike, masquerading as a panacea, which has been referred to the ballot.

The Republic reports that during public comments at last week’s board meeting, some parents called for Douglas’ resignation, questioning how she could serve both on the school board and as treasurer of Ax the Tax Arizona.

The answer can be addressed with one word: “Integrity.”

Douglas, a conservative stalwart, said she is a staunch supporter of high quality education but opposes Proposition 100 because it would damage efforts to rebuild Arizona’s economy.

The former board president added that her support for Ax the Tax Arizona is not within the purview of the governing board and that she and the parents raising the issue simply have a difference in philosophy.

As might be expected, there are subplots here as well. The educrats, who bristle at being held accountable, think this is free money, falling like manna from heaven.  Young children are taught there are consequences for their actions and realities to face when situations change. But apparently some of their parents think there are no repercussions from levying additional taxes during the harshest economy most of us can recall.  Job losses are still hovering in the nine-plus margins and home foreclosures remain a fact of life for too many families.

There is also the McModerate wing of the Republican Party with a finger in this education pie. Rep. Debbie Lesko is closely tied to Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, the Republican counterpart to Phoenix’s liberal Mayor Philly Gordon. In the upcoming race for an open legislative seat in District 9, incumbent Lesko and political newcomer Rick Gray both have strings tied to John McCain.

26 Responses to The daily does Diane

  1. Justin says:

    When has raising taxes been a solution? And in these tough economic times, it is certainly not the answer now. Diane Douglas should stand her ground.

  2. Xyooper says:

    My wife is a public school teacher and has been telling me of all the cuts they have been making. Fewer teaching positions for next year, but more children. Some specialist teachers (art, etc) gone already.
    I asked her if she knew if anyone in the District has been laid off yet. She hasn’t heard of a single instance.

    I pretty much vote no across the board for any new spending/taxes/funding for anything, because I know who gets to spend it and I can’t reward all that bad behavior.

    • John Q says:

      The education community lives on fear, lies and big government advocates. One fact is that the number of children has been decreasing for the last three years. This tax is not only not needed, it will hurt the economic recovery and cause a loss of 24,000 to 40,000 in Arizona. VOTE NO!

  3. Calypso says:

    I don’t support the tax, either. This is a regressive tax which penalizes those making purchases who can least afford to be hit again. More and more frequently, that’s most of us. And here in the City of Phoenix, our swell mayor and most of the council even voted to tax our food!

  4. Ray Spitzer says:

    Lesko made her endorsement of McCain long before JD Hayworth joined the race, so whoever writes these articles might want to get current information.

    I’ve known Rick Gray for some time, and he has never stated an endorsement of McCain. He is focused on his own race for a seat in the AZ House, and tends to not endorse anyone, at least during the primary season. Who decided to ascribe an endorsement without verifying its accuracy?

    There are a lot of reasons not to support Diane Douglas for an AZ House seat from district 9, but having a personal opinion or view on adding a sales tax during a recession is not one of them. Since the board is supposedly non-partisan, and personal views of members of that board on issues outside the direct purview of the board are not fodder for criticism, why make Prop 100 the reason to dump Douglas? This article seems to be just a hit piece on people the writer doesn’t like. If this is an op-ed, you’re entitled to your opinion, but not to your own facts.

    Why not do a poll of all members of the current PUSD board, and get their opinion on the healthcare law. Then do one on Cap and Trade. Then do another one on Immigration. And then decide whether their opinions on these matters should dictate their qualification to serve on a school board. Ridiculous.

  5. Rick Gray says:

    I think everyone knows the media can’t be depended on as a reliable news source. People are skeptical because there is so much bias and lack of accurate reporting that you can’t trust it to tell the truth. Because of that I’ve looked to reliable conservative blogs as one source to get the other side of the story. Sadly, that has changed, too.

    In reading this story about Diane Douglas I see my own name thrown in as someone tied to John McCain. I don’t know who the author of this post is, which might be nice to know, but they definitely don’t have their facts correct. I do not have any ties to John McCain.

    I am a political newcomer in that I’ve never run for a legislative position before. But I’m not a newcomer in serving my community. I’m a businessman who got tired of seeing where our country and state were heading and decided to do everything I could to move us in the right direction. And as a conservative that means I support Constitutional Adherence, Fiscal Responsibility, and the Free Market system.

    I expected to have mud slung and to be misrepresented, but I expected it to come from the liberals not as friendly fire from my own side. Before anyone believes or relies on the information about me that has been posted on this, or any blog, I would encourage them to contact me. You can check out my website at http://www.VoteRickGray.com for more information about my views on the issues and for my contact information.

    Rick Gray
    Candidate for House of Representatives, LD 9

    • AZSpectator says:

      As the “political newcomer” that even you admit you are – you sure want the “brass ring” right away. There are those who have worked for years on the conservative side regardless of the cost to themselves and those who use the conservative cause to their own ends. Diane Douglas is the former; you are the latter.

  6. Sgt. Preston says:

    Hey, Charger! Where in the post does it say anyone ENDORSED McCain? You’re reading something different than I am or you need to get your vision checked. Having “strings tied to McCain” doesn’t equate to endorsement to me. Get real, buddy. And a previous post here showed Lesko as having endorsed McCain. Getting facts straight is not up your alley even though you accuse others of not doing so. I don’t view this as a hit on anyone. The morning paper, if you read the link, was the actual hit piece, and it was on Diane Douglas.

  7. Jana Simmons says:

    In the car earlier I was listening to KFYI’s Mike Broomhead. He called Diane Douglas “a hero.” I agree. it’s easy to go along to get along, to encourage votes for overrides and bonds, when we hear the cry of “It’s for the children!” I have children and want the very best for them, which is why my husband and I took them out of government schools and are home schooling — teamed with several other families for activities such as sports, field trips and music. Higher math and biology have hands on teachers, since one dad is a physician, another parent is a CPA and one an accomplished classical musician. Our children lack nothing and all excel at their studies. Not one of the students is using drugs or smoking. They all attend the church of their family’s faith.

  8. TOLL FOR THEE says:

    My wife is a teacher. There is an interesting group, Arizona Education Network (www.arizonaeducationnetwork.com) that claims it is a non-partisan group advancing education. They are strong proponents of the 1% sales tax. They are making an effort to show the voting record of Republicans as not supporting funding for education. What they are not showing, however, is the overall voting record of the Legislators. For example, in District 26, where I live, we have liberal Nancy Young Wright. While she has voted in favor or more educational funding, the conversation I have been having with my wife is that there are some principles that transcend educational funding. Take a look a Wright’s voting record on abortion, same-sex marriage, and religious freedoms in the schools. So your point about consequences of actions is a good one. Believe it or not, there is more to life than educational funding. So, I think conservatives really need to take a look at what this “non-partisan” group is doing and how they are currently painting conservatives based on a single issue.

  9. John Q says:

    Spitser,

    You are the one that is not up to date.

    Debbie Lesko was specifically asked if she would withdraw her endorsement based on the changing situation with JD. She adamantly refused to do so.

    On your statement about Rick Gray’s endorsement?, thou doth protest too much about a charge that was not made in the article. Maybe you know that he has a secret Mcworking agreement that is not public knowledge.

    • Rick Gray says:

      John Q.

      Ray Spitzer knows me and that’s why he was able to make the statement he made about me. Can you tell me about some “secret Mcworking agreement?” You can’t because there isn’t any. I can’t believe the bizarre level this conversation has descended to.

      Rick Gray

      • John Q says:

        Ray Spitzer knows you and that is why he was able to make a statement that falsely accused SeeingRedAZ of saying that you endorsed McCain? So merely knowing you gives people the ability to falsely accuse others of making statements they did not make? WOW!

      • John Q says:

        And I never said there was a “secret Mcworking agreement”. I was merely intrigued that he was overly defending you in an area where you were not attacked and wondered why.

  10. Ben F says:

    Rick,

    When you hang out with people who have a direct link to McCain, you are bound to have some mud on yourself.

    Diane Douglas has worked assiduously for a long time as a true conservative patriot. She ran for the school board when no other conservative would do so. Debbie Lesko had committed to running with her, originally, but backed out at the last minute.

    Debbie Lesko also flaked out a couple of weeks ago on the Corporation Commission Bill when she took some flak from the elites. Personally, I respect people who take a principled stand and do not back down.

    Diane Douglas is such a person.

    • Rick Gray says:

      Ben F.

      Who have I “hung out with?” Do you know me? Have you ever talked with me about any of this? Where are you getting your facts? I’m amazed at your groundless insinuations.

      Rick Gray

  11. RJ says:

    Both cream and slag rise to the top. Diane is the cream, her detractors and attackers are the slag.

    • Ken Feldman says:

      RJ…
      I was one of the parents who had an issue with Diane. I do not object to her position. I object to the conflict of interest. Any other elected official in the state of Arizona would be violating the law. Why should the standard be less for board members. If she wishes to retain her seat then she should remain silent.

      Additionally, PUSD cut 26m this year and will cut another 22m next year regardless of the 1% tax outcome. How much do you think we should cut? What can we do without?

      Slag? Funny…you support her but personally attack me…you don’t even know me.

      • RJ says:

        Funny, you education apologists find NO conflict of interest when school board members are also members of the legislature and work to pass bills that cost the taxpayers in their legislative districts hundreds of millions to support the school board interests.

        School board members are elected by all of the voters of the district to represent them. There is NO conflict when anyone tries, as a private citizen, to protect the total population they serve from a tax that will cost the residents in private sector jobs. BTW, those 24,000 to 40,000 lost jobs will impact the chances for your students to find employmet upon graduation. In addition, sales taxes are the most regressive, harming the most vulnerable among us.

        Now let’s talk about your erroneous AND misleading numbers. According to the SAFR Report prepared by your business office, PUSD revenues were down $15.6 million in 2009 v 2008, not $26 million.

        Your student count was also down 631. Total revenues per student in 2008 comes out to $8574. Therefore, to maintain the same revenue per pupil, your funding SHOULD have been reduced by more than $5.4 million.

        The drop of $15.6 million represents a per pupil drop of $276 on the $8,574 base comes out to a 3% reduction – hardly catastrophic.

        Let me put this in further context for you. Over the last eight years the per pupil revenue for PUSD rose by more than 33%. To reduce that growth amount by only 3% in the worst recession in modern times should be praised, not castigated.

        Overall, the commitment by the state to k-12 since 2001 has risen from 43% of the total tax revenues to over 80% of the total tax revenues.

        To cover that commitment, the state has borrowed nearly a billion dollars from the bank, mortgaged state buildings, laid off thousands of employees in other departments, raided 90/10 agency funds, forced furloughs on other state employees, reinstituted the equalization tax on businesses and residential property owners (including those on fixed incomes), reduced funding in some agencies by 25%, and more.

        You show NO gratitude for the sacrifices of others or the fact that education has been protected while others have suffered.

        You, sir, are either ignorant of these facts or you are a callous, uncaring greedy troll who only cares about his own interests and is neither a good neighbor nor team player.

        I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and just say that you are ignorant.

  12. Ken Feldman says:

    Integrity? You could say that. I could say a lack of ethics. She took an OATH when she won her seat. An oath which puts her in conflict with her participation with this proposition.

    Because our legislature whimped out and sent this to us….what else should we do. I’ll you what, give every parent a voucher and this constant argument will be over.

    I place a high value on education. Having been around the world during my service to this country I feel that there is not better judge of a societies values then what it does for education. How silly is this that we argue over this. I guess my values are different.

  13. Night Owl says:

    Ken Feldman:
    Are you equally as concerned about those doing double duty on school boards and in the legislature? Are there conflicts of interst in such cases? As to muzzling Diane Douglas, that is truly absurd. You seem to be all over the place on this issue.

  14. Janelle says:

    Ken,

    The State of Arizona has established verbiage for the Oath of Office. Here it is:

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Arizona, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same and defend them against all enemies,foreign and domestic, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office of
    according to the best of my ability, so help me God (or so I do affirm).

    Do your best and show me how she has viloated that Oath!

    The law excludes school board members from the general rule regarding not being to serve in two elected offices simultaneously – at the insistence of the education community. The education community has received unequal favored treatment in part due to that specific exclusion.

    The rights of a school board member to serve in a voluntary position for a project he/she believes has never been questioned before. To do so in this instance is ridiculous and has no merit.

    Obviously, Ms Douglas has a personal belief that the imposition of a new tax during a recession will do harm to the citizens of our state. Her position is buttressed by the conclusions of every reputable national economist. If the high paid staff at PUSD cannot find a way to absorb a 3-5% reduction in funds, it needs new administrators, not new school board members.

    According to the Auditor General Annual Report, PUSD teachers are making $4.380 above the state average, even though 27% of them have less than three years experience (almost double the state average). Pehaps they could be good citizens and VOLUNTEER to take a 5% across the board reduction. Then you could ask the high paid staff in the Administration Office to step up and participate by taking a similar VOLUNTARY reduction.

    How much would this help? 88-90% of all M&O expenditures are for salaries. Seems like we have a solution.

    Ken, maybe our values are not different, but our historical understanding of how we got into this budget crisis surely is. If you spend money like a drunken sailor during good times, you will not have any left to last through a downturn. See Genesis Chapter 41 for help.

    Napolitano DOUBLED our state expenditures over a six year period and left town before the bills came due. K-12 appropriations more than doubled from 2.5 billion to over 5.02 billion while student enrollment increased by a mere 14%.

    Now times are tough and everyone must contribute to the solution – including education personnel. Explain those residents of your district who have lost their jobs and their homes or the seniors who are living on fixed incomes and will have to make choices you know not of, how hard it would be for the school personnel to take a reduction in salary.

  15. John Q says:

    Ken Feldman,

    The only lack of integrity that I see is the school personnel using the welfare of their students as virtual hostages so the adults can maintain their income stream.

    I think that those who have seen their salaries go up dramatically in recent years and who are now being supported to the tune of $450 per DAY by taxpayers – some of whom are living on less than twice that amount per MONTH – can find a way to take a small reduction in order to serve their students.

  16. Wiser says:

    I attended my 25 year high school reunion this past year. At the dining table (seating five couples) three of the five talked about their cabins in Prescott or the White Mountains. And wouldn’t you know? Those were all underpaid (?) school teachers! Additionally they had or were in the process of putting their kids through college. None of them were distitute, far from it. They all seemed to be surviving quite well, and were all tenured with good benefits and job security. My wife and I (both college educated and working)have none of the above, nor do we have political action groups and union leaders crying out that we are being shortchanged.

    My reunion changed my perspective on school budgets, overrides and the like. It was nice to see old classmates, but nicer still to get an education all these years later.

  17. […] Governing Board member speaks out As you know from an earlier post, Peoria Unified School Distinct Board member Diane Douglas is under heavy attack by the education […]